Trump attacks Michael Cohen days before hush money trial is set to begin

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Two days before the start of Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, the former president attacked his former attorney Michael Cohen, who is expected to be a key witness in the case.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump said, “Has disgraced attorney and felon Michael Cohen been prosecuted for LYING? Only TRUMP people get prosecuted by this Judge and these thugs! A dark day for our Country.”

Cohen’s allegations that Trump directed him to facilitate hush money payments to adult film actor Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign are at the heart of the criminal case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. It’s unclear what Trump was referring to, though Cohen admitted in court last year that he made false claims to Congress about Trump’s finances.

Asked on MSNBC’s “The Weekend” on Saturday about how he was feeling ahead of the trail, Cohen said he was “stressed, nervous.”

He added, “The attacks are relentless because that’s what he does. He attacks the judge, he attacks the judge’s daughter, he attacks witnesses, he attacks anyone and everyone again thinking that this is a positive strategy. It doesn’t work. So yeah, I’m concerned. And a little, you know, a little apprehensive.”

It’s unclear if the new posts from Trump violate a gag order that bars him from making extrajudicial statements about potential witnesses in the trial.

The gag order, first issued by state Judge Juan Merchan in March, prohibits Trump from “making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

Merchan expanded the gag order to relatives of Merchan and Bragg after Trump attacked Merchan’s daughter in social media posts.

Trump is facing 34 counts of first-degree falsifying business records in an alleged attempt “to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election,” according to prosecutors.

In a separate post on Saturday, Trump also attacked the district attorney’s office, saying, “WHY DIDN’T THE MANHATTAN D.A. BRING THIS RIDICULOUS & LAMBASTED CASE SEVEN YEARS AGO? Because they are corrupt and wanted to use it for purposes of Election Interference against Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent!”

Cohen did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment. Merchan’s and Bragg’s offices also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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